The UN Security Council expressed "serious concern" late Tuesday at mounting reports of illegal arms transfers from Syria to Lebanon and authorized an independent mission to be deployed quickly to assess how the frontier is being monitored.
A presidential statement adopted by the council welcomed the Lebanese government's determination and efforts to prevent arms transfers, which are banned under UN Resolution 1701 that ended last summer's war between Hizbullah and Israel.
The council noted that the Syrian government said it has taken measures to prevent arms transfers. It reiterated its call on Syria "to take further measures to reinforce controls at the border."
The presidential statement urged all countries, "especially in the region," to enforce a UN arms embargo. The original draft had singled
Independent mission to region
When the council receives recommendations from the secretary-general, it said members will "take further concrete steps to achieve the goals" of banning the sale or transfer of arms or technical assistance to any entity or individual not authorized by the Lebanese government.
It welcomed Ban's intention "to evaluate the situation along the entire border and invites him to dispatch at the earliest, in close liaison with the Lebanese government, an independent mission to fully assess the monitoring of the border."
The council said it would welcome any request by the Lebanese government for assistance "to enhance Lebanon's border security capacities."
The council reiterated "its deep concern at the continuing Israeli violations of Lebanese air space" and appealed to all parties to respect the ceasefire and the UN-drawn boundary between Israel and Lebanon known as the Blue Line, and "refrain from any act of provocation.